If you have cruised before you may well have been on one of P & O’s ships. Even if you haven’t cruised before the name P & O probably rings some bells. Recently we took a ship visit on one of their mid-sized ships the Oriana. She entered service in 1995 and holds approx. 1880 passengers and 760 crew. She has a range of cabins available and has a charm that brings passengers back time and again. She is not state of the art but is aging well and has plenty of facilities on board to entertain, pamper and relax.
All cruises seem to begin in the atrium.. here on the Oriana you get a refined welcome aboard.
Garden Court atrium, in the reception area, the place to meet up with new friends before going ashore.
The first cabin we saw was the Mobility cabin, spacious and right next to the embarkation point. There are 8 mobility cabins on this Deck F. This one F158
Next was a FB Deluxe outside with Bath/shower on C deck. C173
Next a Standard outside with Bath/Shower on C Deck. C163. This is a good sized cabin for your home from home onboard.
To be honest looking a little tired and dated but very comfortable.
And an inside version on C Deck. C147
Again very comfortable.
Moving up to deck B a Deluxe Balcony with Bath/Shower B135.
A lovely cabin with plenty of space and good sized Balcony. The Deluxe balcony cabins have the added extras of Binoculars and a world map to help as you navigate around the world.
We moved on to the classic and stylish décor in the Nyanza Suite B153. Very well appointed with whirlpool bath, DVD and Stereo, dressing area & bathrobes.
and again lovely space and facilities in the Ophir Mini suite B157, again very comfortable with a classic design.
Overall the the cabins were good sized and classic in design, some might be classed as a little dated in décor but they are befitting of the style and age of the Oriana.
There is plenty of well-appointed outside Deck areas around the pool. Nothing screaming Luxury but perfectly comfortable.
Moving inside we came across the Beach house which in an evening carries a £5 surcharge. A lovely relaxed dining atmosphere here.
There are plenty of activities on board for the active out there, an opportunity for the usual shuffleboard or quoits or opt to practice your swing in the Golf nets or a spot of football or tennis on the court.
Now we come to probably our favourite place on board – the Oasis Spa. This was very well-appointed for a spot of pampering before dinner and had some very tempting offers! This relaxing space in the spa is the perfect place to unwind and relax pre or post massage looking out to sea! Alternatively as its next to the fitness zone – the ideal place to relax aching muscles post work out. Fitted out with all you could need, sauna, jacuzzi and lovely warm relaxation beds. Would have loved to stay for a while longer…
Right next door is Al Fresco open from 7am to 10pm.
On the top deck is Median room, the place to meet and chat over a drink which can be used for private functions or groups and is lovely & quiet. To be honest the décor is a little dated but does befit a ship of her age.
The Crows nest is the lounge area forward on the ship where live music is available and great views.
Another lovely feature is Tiffany Court at the peak of the central atrium, where you can get your cup of Costa coffee and a selection of cocktails in Tiffany style glamour.
A highlight on the cruise might be dinner in Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu restaurant, one of their speciality restaurants on board with an extra cover charge. Here we found lovely opulent wall hangings and a fine menu!
Alternatively visit the main restaurant – The Peninsular for classic traditional charm with stock favourites.
If you want a moment of peace and quiet for a card game or two head for Crichtons or the library. Wood panelled charm and comfort and leads on to The Thackery room where you can while away the hours in comfort and classic country house hotel style.
There is plenty to do on board, there is even Chaplin’s Cinema 🎦 with a chance to catch up on a recent movie and there are plenty of entertainment spaces such as the Pacific Lounge.
And a country club feel lounge for your glass of Port after dinner in Andersons!
In the Atrium on Prom deck you can book extra shore excursions and even your next cruise.
Of course few cruises would be complete without a show and there is the amazing Royal Theatre on board with West End style shows seating about 650 at a time.
And so our tour came to an end. I would certainly be happy to while away a few days on board. She has a style that is pleasantly rooted in times gone by, which wont suit everyone but with all the facilities and great P & O Service, plenty of space to relax and watch the world go by, there’s plenty to enjoy.
P&O’s Oriana underwent a refit in November 2016 which has upgraded a few or the more tired looking areas and brought her upto scratch whilst being sympathetic to her traditional cruising appeal.
The refit concentrated on upgraded carpets, lighting designs, and furniture – in the cabins and especially the Conservatory Buffet to make it brighter and more modern. The Peninsular and Orental main restaurants benefit from new furniture and specially designed carpets. The Anderson’s and Lord’s Tavern areas will also have a freshening up. In the Spa area new calming and relaxing touches such as a living plant wall have been added, as well as some equipment upgrades, layout changes and new tiling.
So Oriana can sail into the sunset many more times feeling that she’s aging well!